Review of Fasting, Feasting

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Editor: Janet Witalec
Date: 2003
Publisher: Gale
Document Type: Book review; Critical essay
Length: 592 words

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[(review date winter 2000) In the following review, Aldama outlines the plot of Fasting, Feasting, suggesting that the change of settings for the novel' s conclusion compromises the integrity of the narrative.]

Anita Desai's novels typically gravitate around women (mostly middle-class South Asians) who come of age in the sweltering clime of India's outback and within households heavy with patriarchal oppression. In her new novel, Fasting, Feasting, the protagonist Uma, much like Desai's earlier characters Nanda Kaul in Fire on the Mountain (1977) and Bimla in Clear Light of Day (1980), dares to dream of a life beyond her estate's closed gates. Unfortunately, also like her predecessors, Uma finds that her desires--"A career. Leaving home. Living alone"--meet with unscalable walls at every turn.

Deep in the Gangetic plains, Uma grows up with her younger brother Arun and sister Aruna. Through a series of coming-of-age snapshots, Uma comes into focus....

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Gale Document Number: GALE|H1100051032